WWE: Is Mason Ryan the New Next Big Thing?

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2011

So, Brock Lesnar is supposedly open to one more match in WWE.  In a recent ESPN interview, Lesnar said that if he and Vince McMahon could sit down at the same table, that they could come up with a game plan.

You know what, Brock?  WWE has Mason Ryan now, so, we’re good.

OK, I’ll give everyone a second or two to hurl all sorts of insults my way, insert your expletives here.

On a serious note, let me assure you that I am not suggesting Ryan is a suitable replacement for Brock, or that he is definitely the second coming of The Next Big Thing.

I am merely saying that perhaps, just perhaps,  he could be.

Yes, he draws more comparisons to Batista for obvious reasons, and no, he’s not been in WWE long enough to have really earned a paycheck, much less respect, from the fans.  

So, why the desire to hold him up next to Lesnar?  The fact is, it’s more to do with the nickname than the man himself.

In a company based on making instant stars, guys who go from not being on fans’ radar to being top level main event Superstars, presentation is everything.

The idea of a character who is known as the “next big thing” was WWE’s unashamed way of telling the world, yes, this is going to be the guy, we’re that sure of it.

And, really, why wouldn’t they be?

The massive media hype machine of WWE knows no limits, and accepts no failure.  Once Vince McMahon and creative gets the idea in motion, deciding that this is the direction they want to go, don’t even think about getting in the way.

The machine is cold, unfeeling, and merciless, in its attack, generating promo after promo, one video package after another, and delivering a constant barrage of Superstar defining moments for the taking, all televised for the whole world to see.  Once it begins, it cannot be stopped.

Don’t hate on John Cena, folks, he’s just the latest example.

It’s been executed to painful perfection, so many times, that WWE fans have come to expect no less from the biggest pro wrestling entertainment company in the business.  And the fact is, it will begin anew.

The wrestler inserted into the machine this time?  Well, why not Mason Ryan?

He’s only 29, so he still has some mileage left on him.  He’s been in the business for four years now, so he’s got a little time under his belt, but not too much that he has to change his style to suit WWE.  
Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that he looks like he’s been carved out of granite.

We all know that Vince has a soft spot for the big guys, and at 6’5”, 280 pounds, Ryan more than fit’s the bill.

And, don’t look now, but the guy is actually not half bad in the ring.  He’s petty quick on his feet, and to be honest I was a little surprised at his agility on this past Monday Night Raw.  Whenever a worker his size is in the ring, it’s always interesting to see how he can move, if he seems perhaps too physically big for his own good.  But, I have to say, I am pretty impressed with Ryan.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Mason and Brock however, is the fact that Brock hit the business in a big way.  He came from out of nowhere, and raced up the food chain of WWE, devouring anyone who got in his way.  Before you knew it, Brock Lesnar was a top guy, and he got there faster than anyone we had ever seen up to that point.

Ryan, on the other hand, is admittedly traveling the road that David Batista did during his early years in the company.  Batista began as D-Von’s henchman, a bodyguard who had an incredible physique and unknown potential.  

Mason’s time alongside CM Punk the New Nexus is very similar, in my mind.

But Batista remained heel, after his split with D-Von, and then received the chance of a lifetime when he was given a spot in Evolution with none other than Triple H.

Maybe that is what Mason is missing, the right rub from the right Superstar.  Will he get that on Raw?
The better question may be does Ryan have star power?  Is that smile and recent face turn enough to make fans want to pay to see him?  Can you imagine him in the WWE Championship picture one day?

Mason Ryan is still an unproven talent who is currently working to gain a foothold in WWE fans’ consciousness.  He’s never had this much light on him, so now is truly his opportunity to shine.  Will he take advantage of it, and become a true top tier Superstar?  

He may not be Brock Lesnar, but he may end up being a great Mason Ryan.  

Here comes the pain?